COLUMBUS, Ohio – Samantha Cheverton won a Big Ten championship and 12 different Buckeyes scored points Friday in another total team effort for the women’s swimming and diving team at the Big Ten championships.
And at the end of the day, Ohio State continues to hold on to third-place in the team standings with 302 points with Indiana, seeking a third consecutive title, leading with 531 points and Minnesota in second with 395.
“We had a very strong morning session,” Ohio State coach Bill Dorenkott said. “Our first two events of the finals were a little shaky, but we turned it around in the consolation finals of the 200 free [a 10th-place swim by Alex Norris and a 12th-place swim from Anita Beck] that set the table for Sam’s win in the 200 free.”
Cheverton, the team’s best swimmer the past four years, won her first Big Ten championship – and the first swimming crown for Ohio State in six years – with a school record swim of 1:44.56 in the 200 freestyle. She had initially broke her own school record with a time of 1:45.64 in the prelims, a time that was third fastest in the field. Ohio State’s warrior in the water found a way to go even faster in the evening session and she now has a championship medal to show for her efforts.
“It feels really good [to be a Big Ten champion] and there isn’t much more I could ask for,” Cheverton, a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar majoring in psychology said. “I am really pumped.”
Her coach is pleased, too. And not just because of Cheverton’s title, but because for the third consecutive day his team swam with great effort and in the process put some distance between them and the three other teams that were separated by only six points entering today.
“Championship swim meets are all about taking advantage of opportunities and creating momentum,” Dorenkott said. “Sam’s swim was beautiful. She kept pace with the field and made a hard push off the 175 wall.”
One probably has to go back to Ohio State’s Big Ten title winning teams of the early 1980s to find a day as special as Friday was at the Counsilman-Billingsley Aquatic Center.
Led by Cheverton, four different Buckeyes and one relay had a Top 5 finish on Friday. Kelsey Moran (fourth in the 100 backstroke in a school record time of 53.21), Bianca Alvarez (fourth on 3-meter with 400.8 points), Megan Detro (fifth in the 200 free with now the second-fastest time in school history) and the 400 medley relay team of Moran, Angela Severn, Shannon Draves and Detro (fifth in school-record time of 3:36.70) piled up the team points with their efforts.
The final of the 100 butterfly featured two Buckeyes, with Darcy Fishback taking seventh in 54.24 and Draves finishing eighth in 54.77. Moran was 16th.
Emily Creran joined Moran with points in two individual events. She was eighth in the 400 individual medley in 4:18.12 (with Severn 11th) and 16th in the 100 backstroke.
Catherine Eitel had her highest Big Ten championships finish with a 10th-place swim in the 100 breaststroke, an event won for the fourth consecutive year by Minnesota’s Jillian Tyler.
One more day of championship swimming will be contested Saturday with finals in six events plus the 10-meter platform and the Buckeyes seeking a Top 3 finish for the first time since 1994.
“We are looking forward to tomorrow morning,” Dorenkott said. “Our goals this weekend have been pretty simple…learn, grow and build confidence.”
2011 Big Ten Women’s Swimming & Diving Championships
Day 3 Team Scores: 1. Indiana 531; 2. Minnesota 395; 3. Ohio State 302; 4. Penn State 275; 5. Purdue 255.5; 6. Michigan 255; 7. Wisconsin 226.5; 8. Iowa 133; 9. Northwestern 131; 10. Michigan State 74; 11. Illinois 68.
Events: 400 medley relay – 1. Wisconsin, 3:32.47; 5. OSU (Moran, Severn, Draves, Detro), 3:36.70; 400 IM – 1. 1. Vavra, Indiana (4:04.59); 8. Creran, OSU (4:18.12); 11. Severn (4:15.97); 100 butterfly – 1. Dauw, Michigan (52.41); 7. Fishback, Ohio State (54.24); 8. Draves, Ohio State (54.77); 16. Moran, Ohio State (55.76); 200 freestyle – 1. Cheverton, Ohio State (1:44.56); 5. Detro, Ohio State (1:46.42); 12. Beck, Ohio State (1:47.69); 100 breaststroke – 1. 1. Tyler, Minn. (58.08); 10 eitel, Ohio State (1:01.58); 100 backstroke – 1. Meyer, Wisc. (51.99); Moran, Ohio State (53.21); 16. Creran, Ohio State (55.80); 3-meter diving – 1. Bryant, Minn. (421.70); 4. Alvarez, Ohio State (400.8).